Sweden: Sales of organics still booming
Organics are still booming in Sweden: in 2014, they grew by 38% from SEK11.2billion (about €1.2billion) to SEK15.5billion (about €1.7billion). The market share of organics on the entire food market is now at 5.6%. Impressive increases were reported by the supermarkets chains ICA (+55%), Coop (+40%), and Axfood (+40%), as well as from Systembolaget – the only authorized dealer for alcohol in Sweden (+83%), from Martin & Severa – an important player in the food service sector (+24%), and Arla – the largest dairy producer in Scandinavia (+36%).
Products made in Sweden such as dairy products, eggs, pork, beef and chicken have a relatively high market share. Eight out of ten Swedish customers claim they buy organics at least occasionally. The most powerful arguments to buy organics are still animal welfare and the environment, but health reasons are also growing in importance. “Customers want to buy products that are Swedish and organic. Sales could even have been higher, but the desired products were not always available”, Cecilia Ryegård of Ekoweb explains. For 2015, Ecoweb forecasts sales to increase by about 20 % and the value of organics could be increased by SEK2billion per year, meaning almost a doubling of the market by 2025. Higher growth seems to be unrealistic - the biggest challenge for the continued growth will be the availability of Swedish organic products. More farmers are needed, according to Ms. Ryegård, and communication between the different players of the sector needs to be increased. A focus of the political side is also necessary to ensure the availability of Swedish organics. More information (in Swedish) is available here.